GH DP Fall 2019 Progress Thread

Group and Health Design and Pricing Exam – Segment A
Date: Wednesday, October 30, 2019
Time: 8:30-11:45 a.m.
(Includes read–through time)

Group and Health Design and Pricing Exam – Segment C
Date: Wednesday, October 30, 2019
Time: 1:30-3:45 p.m.
(Includes read–through time)

Registration Deadline: Monday, September 23, 2019
(Registration closes at midnight U.S. Central Time.)


I’m in for the full day on 10/30. I missed the mark on Core in the spring, so I’ve been brushing up on ‘C’ material while trying to digest the newer ‘A’ material.

Curious how many people are in the same boat vs. first time FSA exam takers, or coming off either an Advanced pass/fail.


I am in the same situation as you. I am going through “C” material using Mate manual and notecards. For the new “A” material, I am reading source and then reviewing with Mate manual.


@alexlar2007 @kidactuary

Just to let you know, we are working to update the Exam Center for the Group exams, but this will take our @Fellowship_Forums team a bit of time. In the meantime, use our Learning Center, and the threads within them (organised by tags if you haven’t already figured that out :slight_smile:) to discuss syllabus topics from the readings. Hope you have a great sitting and pass this exam!

Hello! I am completely new to this exam. I’m preparing with a combination of MATE material, past exams, and the source materials. I incorporate applicable problems from past exams from the start because my retention is very poor and motivation is low without them (if I try to just read the materials).


Hi @Barrel - Welcome to the forum!

I think many people are in the same boat as you - it can be very challenging to retain information if you just read the material without testing yourself or discussing it with others.

When I was studying for the exams, I found that consistent discussion with my peers about the exam topics was by far the best way for me to retain the most information.

Hi. I took GH fellowship exams many years ago, but failed. Experience with a different employer the past few years has provided me with additional industry knowledge I hadn’t had years ago. So, I decided to give it another shot with the Fall 2019 GHDP sitting. I’m following the MATE suggested study schedule and have the Chicago MATE Everything Package, using no source material. Good luck to everyone here!


@Barrel Totally agree! I actually find most of the source material not to be worth my time, given I haven’t read half of it. It takes me a really long time to get through one textbook chapter, and then I end up losing most of that information by the time I get through the next summary reading anyway. I do think some of the articles are at least better than the textbook readings though.

@OldTimer I did MATE seminar last time and really liked it. Unfortunately I didn’t pass, and my employer only offers one seminar per exam. Good luck with getting back into exams!


@kidactuary Thank you. How is your studying going this time? Are you using MATE material for DP? Any tips on preparing for the seminar?

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I still feel about as overwhelmed with material as I did last time, but I’m more optimistic. I’m using MATE materials again, just without the seminar & trying to keep up with online discussions better.

For seminar prep, I would recommend being overly prepared. The seminar is mainly a shortened read-through of each section with some group discussion, practice problems, and opportunities to ask questions. It was the first of any exam seminars for me so I didn’t know what to expect, and ended up being under-prepared. I had read through the outlines once, skimmed some of the note cards, and attempted a few problems without success. I wish I would have taken another pass through the outlines, memorized at least one card from each section, and really taken the time to understand a couple of the larger practice problems. I still took a lot away from it though, like which sections get tested more often, common problem formats & setup, what other people were struggling with, and other exam-taking & exam day tips.

Sorry for kind of a long answer. Hope it helps :slight_smile:

I’ve done some textbook readings and it seemed to help. I find the manual hard to get through too… I am using MATE and I do like it overall.

I am doing the seminar in Chicago, which is in 2 weeks. I started real studying August. [started carrying around flash cards mid July, I am most of the way through a first pass of the flash cards at this point]

I am in agreement that it would be better to be well prepared for seminar. I’ll do my best. My plan is to go through learning objectives 1-3, and have at least some familiarity with learning objectives 4-5. But in depth studying of 4 and 5 will be after the seminar.

@kidactuary Those were very helpful insights. Thank you! Keep plugging away!


Was planning on starting earlier this month but work was crazy busy, so today marked my beginning in earnest. Finished all my ASA requirements last month so am diving right in.

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Starting is always the hardest part for me. Good luck kicking off your studies, and congrats on the recent ASA!

Just wondering what people’s game plan was for practicing past exams for this sitting of GH DP? Do you plan to review the former Group Core exams only? Will there be elements of the Group Advanced exam that are applicable for GH DP, and thus you will be dipping into both the former Group Core and Group Advanced exam to practice?

As I mentioned in the critical illness topic, I’m using both past Core and Advanced exams in my studying. It’s a little more work this way but not much. You just have to match the applicable learning objectives. What’s annoying is when the objectives are mixed. Then I write down- for spring 2017 advanced (I am making this up), question 12 parts a and b only for chapters X and Y in learning objective 4. Ignore part c. After doing this for a bunch of exams I’ll have a list of problems to look at after going through chapter X.

I wouldn’t wish to be preparing for an actuarial exam without using past exams as study tools unless there was absolutely no other option. (such as first sitting of exam PA) Problems are so essential! It’s so funny when the simplest material has the problems that are the most painful. Deductibles, cost sharing, out of pocket maximums, and plan coordination of benefits- so easy! But then you do the problems and it’s a different story. I have no idea how regular health care consumers are expected to manage it.

My plan is to finish going through objectives 1&2 by the end of this week.

Hey Aaron!

I’m new to the site so I skimmed through the posts and I guess I’ll start with yours. So I wanted to have as many practice problems as possible so I went back through each GH Core sitting and checked the model solution to find out which chapter of the source material was tested and if it was on a chapter that’s on the current syllabus, then I added it to my question bank. By doing so, I noticed that almost all of the questions that we will have for this exam come from the afternoon portion of the prior GH Core sittings (I only checked the Canadian versions though) so a safe bet for you if you want to practice learning objectives 1-3 is to take the most recent Core exams for the afternoon portion.

As far as learning objectives 4 and 5, they mostly come from the old GH adv. I did the same thing I explained earlier but it wasn’t always just morning/afternoon questions for those exams.

Lately while digging around on the internet, I found a link made by “The infinite actuary” that lists what learning objectives came from what prior exams (a few readings are actually from the specialty exams). Here is the link:

Hi Everyone.
I’m in for the full day as well. I attempted GH Core back in 2014 but failed. Switch jobs and wasn’r in an actuarial role until earlier this year. Decided to come back to the books with a toddler at home and another child on the way! (Pray for me)

So in addition to this forum, if anyone is in the Montreal,Quebec area and would like to meet up to discuss whatever topic (even parenthood), I’m down!

Best of luck to everyone! I hope we all pass with flying colors

Welcome to the community @Teddy! Your path is very inspirational and wishing you the best possible sitting of preparation for this exam! This will be a great story to retell your kids when they’re all grown up and you explain the hell you had to go through to pass these exams! Praying for you buddy! :pray:

Thanks for sharing all your insights on past SOA exam practice. Have you had a chance to check out the Exam Center we have on the forum? Any initial thoughts?